A recent Forbes article stated that new retail business ventures that incorporate a mixture of online and offline processes will fare better than businesses that only use one or the other. In case you hadn’t realized it yet, the world has gone digital and ecommerce is quickly catching up to brick & mortar sales as the public’s preferred method of obtaining the most desired goods and services. When your goal is to create a new retail business presence online, you need to first formulate a plan and then you need to put that plan into action without looking back. Just as when you first opened your store or first came up with the idea for your store, the first step always begins with adequate research.
Researching Your Target Market
The following research methods will help you create a new retail business presence online that steadily grows and becomes more targeted with its marketing message as your future campaign progresses. You should start by searching on social media and in popular forums in your niche for discussions about the types of products and services you will offer, as well as information related to preferred price, perceived quality and many more details that you can use to improve your new retail business over time.
Start with Facebook Graph Search and find competitors and potential prospects that will give you an idea of where to market and how to go about it. Then move to Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest and use those platforms’ search functions in the same vain. The more you research about your competitors and target consumers, the better your results will be.
Make lists of all the information you can gather and then start making notes about how you will approach the marketing of your new retail business. You may want to emulate your competitors, of course making your message better and more able to resonate with those you intend to reach out to, just until you get a sense of how to create a new retail business online.
Once you have your list of information, start slowly using the following processes and put the data you’ve gleaned into action as you lure your customers in one by one.
Ecommerce Site Marketing
You can easily create a new retail business presence online by using the already established infrastructures provided by eBay and Amazon. You simply upload your product photos, create engaging descriptions and set a competitive pricing structure and you’re off. It’s really as easy as that.
Of course you are also encouraged to set up your own independent ecommerce website, or use one exclusively, so that you don’t have to share all of your profits. If your new retail business is still fairly unknown, you may have to rely on the bigger name platforms until you can start generating profitable web traffic all on your own.
Once you have an ecommerce site established (or more than one, provided that you have the resources and inventory to sustain multiple sites), set up an opt-in email list. This will keep your new retail business fresh on the minds of your target audience, as long as you can provide valuable information that your subscribers like to read. This includes valuable tips, hints, funny and interesting stories, updates on sales and specials, as well as discounts on your best merchandise.
Social Media Marketing
You will find it nearly impossible to create a new retail business presence online without one or more social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the top three that you will want to focus on if you want to reach out to consumers while they happen to be at work or play. You can also target Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, YouTube and all of the image-centric social media sites, as these will allow you to showcase your wares to your growing audience.
Post, tweet and share using the same valuable information you send to your email subscribers. Share a mixture of your own content and the content of others to keep it even and to ensure that you’re not overly promoting yourself. Then, just keep it going until people begin to notice your new retail business presence. It may take weeks or months for you to gather a following, but soon traffic will be flowing and, when that happens, sales should be booming.
The above techniques represent free or low-cost means for attempting to create a new retail business presence online. Once you have become proficient with the these steps, then you can move onto pay-per-click (PPC) marketing and other paid techniques to double, triple or even quadruple your results. With so many techniques to choose from, new retail business online marketing is basically limitless. Now it’s time to conduct the adequate research and put your marketing plan into action if you want to achieve your retail business goals.